|Charlie soaking the Miami sun at condo before move|
When Charlie's foster parents fell in love with him, Nina (his new mother) shared that they were moving to Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). "The Middle East?!" I exclaimed. At first I was excited envisioning their exotic adventure living abroad, but then my brain rewinded. "But what about transporting pets and quarantine periods?..." I nervously pelted her with questions.
Nina explained that the UAE does not require a quarantine period for pets originating from the United States. Whew! But the airline they had already booked required that pets fly in cargo. Let's see there's the flight from Miami to New York, the layover and then the long flight from New York to Abu Dhabi... "Where's that unpolished Aladdin's lamp when you really need it? Genie hello? We need a magic carpet!" I thought to myself. I shared my concerns with Nina. As a devouted mother who wanted to ensure the safety and well-being of her pet, Nina did some homework. The next time we spoke Nina had exhaustively researched all options. With the help of a local contact in Abu Dhabi, Nina learned about Air Animal, an airline that specializes in the transport of pets and any animal to various countries.
In the above video, I'm visiting Charlie after learning he's moving to Abu Dhabi.
Naturally there was an obstacle course of paperwork to complete including certain veterinarian medical tests, vaccinations, and certifications mostly requirements of UAE customs. Then Nina hired a private driver to pick up Charlie from the Abu Dhabi airport (he would arrive a day before Nina) and transport him to a temporary home, a cattery. The total costs to transport Charlie including the UAE's customs' fees for bringing a pet, the Animal Air fare, and the driver totaled $2,500. Notary was not required. I was so impressed. This is a model example of a responsible pet owner.
So Charlie was set to travel on a Wednesday and Nina delivered him to the airline near the Miami airport. She also packed his regular food, both moist and dry and included her shirt as his blanket inside the carrier, a familiar scent to ease any anxieties. Upon arriving at Animal Air, Nina notified me that his flying neighbors were ducks! (They should have named the airline "Noah's Ark"!). Apparently the carriers are placed inside oversized cages that are secured inside the cabin. The airline made a stop in Dusseldorf where Charlie was given additional food and water and the airline contacted Nina with the update--wow talk about personal service every step of the way! Upon arriving in Abu Dhabi, a driver picked up Charlie to chauffer him to the cattery while Nina and Felipe would reside in a nearby hotel until they found a permanent home. (Hmm, he's starting to look and sound more like his nickname "Richie Rich").
Nina arrived on Friday and immediately went to visit her baby. She would visit Charlie every day except Saturday is which like Sunday in the US. (In UAE their weekend is Friday and Saturday). The cattery is housed in a typical Middle Eastern style two-story villa. Each cage is taller than a human with four "shelves" on one side so Charlie has plenty of room to climb. Even Nina could fit into the cage facing the shelves.
|American Vet Clinic & Cattery|
|Cattery in Abu Dhabi|
Charlie is cage #16
Curtains separate cages so cats have "privacy"
|Each cage has name, age, description of cat, feeding schedule,|
special instructions and contact information of pet owner
|Nina visits with Charlie and lets him out|
for playtime and exercise
|Nina takes photo of Charlie inside the cage next to him|
Charlie welcomes your comments and cat wishes. Click "comment" below.
Click here for Part III "Charlie's New Home in Abu Dhabi"